LETTER | Election candidate Kym Rowley comments on DSC 2019 Daintree land purchase

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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Dear Editor,

I believe that the decision made by Council to purchase 376ha of land next to the Daintree River on the 28th August so quickly after hearing the outcry from locals regarding the Qantas – Healthy Reef Project should be fully and independently investigated. 

The reason I say this is that I believe the Mayor and some Councillors have mislead the community and have been biased in their decision making, which could possibly be seen as misconduct.

The decision to purchase the land, as the community was led to believe, was to help council with their Carbon Offset direction, by planting trees, habitat regeneration and wetland restoration. Now they are telling us a feasibility study for the project will be undertaken following the establishment of a stakeholder reference group (which will this include DSSG) and the identification of potential initiatives.

As with the Qantas affair there was no community consultation, only two “environmental workshops” after the fact, which reiterated councils’ objective to reduce their carbon and no full investigation into the project before they made their decision, which appears to have happened again.    

This land was purchased with what now appears to be them having no idea what the land was going to be used for, which is now only being considered. I believe that there are several more important issues that should be addressed by Council, including water and infrastructure needs before they continue to allocate funds for this “environmentalist group project”.

It is about time that the community is fully informed of this whole affair, including the Qantas fiasco and the purchase of the land.

- Kym Rowley - 2020 election Councillor candidate   


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